Note: This is the first in a series of articles examining various aspects of Ceara Lynch’s persona.
Adapting A Warrior’s Mentality …
Sun Tsu’s The Art of War. Clausewitz’s On War. Classics on the art of strategic military thinking. Required reading at all United States military war colleges and the National Defense University.
And for most business leaders.
Wall Street. A film on American power and money.
Bud Fox: “Sun-Tsu: If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him. If equally matched, fight, and if not split and reevaluate.”
Gordon Gecko: I don’t throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-Tsu, The Art of War. Every battle is won even before it is ever fought.”
Following these brief mentions in that iconic film, the Art of War quickly became a staple for business readers. Sun-Tsu’s philosophies proved, and continue to prove, highly applicable to the dynamic style of American business.
But in war, strategy is not formulated by incoherently adjoining precepts and quotes from these classics. Rather, a more coherent, dynamic approach is used. One which addresses and defines strategies for competing and winning, simultaneously, in three separate but connected dimensions: the physical, the rational, and the psychological.
To win a war, one must defeat the adversary in all three dimensions. Failing to subdue the adversary in any one of the three will result in a war not won. And as in war, so in business. Failing to compete and win in all three dimensions simultaneously results in loss business revenue and market share.
How Ceara Lynch has competed, and won, in each of these dimensions is a case study in entrepreneurship and business acumen.
The Three Dimensions …
The physical dimension is all about those physical things needed to produce a desired effect. In war, it’s the things you go to war with – planes, ships, guns, bullets, etc. In business, it’s the things that are produced.
The rational dimension is the ‘chess game’ played by military and business leadership. It’s about out-thinking your adversary and employing physical assets to their best effect. In war, it’s about maneuver, integrated fires, or combined arms. In business, it’s about the optimized business model, cost-vs-benefit analyses, leveraging assets, and positioning for “the deal.”
In war fighting, the psychological dimension is about morale, training, belief in cause, and will to win. In business, it’s about work ethic, about building a brand and customer loyalty. It’s the ‘edge’ that, all other things being equal, causes a customer to chose your product over that of a competitor.
A Few Words About the Business Model and Metrics …
The business model employed by Ceara Lynch is eloquently simple. Sell high quality, relatively low production-cost, time-limited-private-use custom videos at premium prices. Retain intellectual property rights and sell/distribute those same videos at a later date through a third party vendor. Market through social media and web-enabled media outlets. Use another third party agent to protect intellectual property rights to reduce online theft and piracy.
It’s a business model used by countless number of other women competing in the same or similar market. Yet, when it comes to working that business model, Ceara Lynch is arguably more successful than most.
To a large extent, business metrics are hard to come by for the financial domination niche.
Revenue, profits, costs, sale. Those numbers are known to Ceara Lynch and the other online Dominatrices, of course. They just aren’t shared publicly. Still, relevant metrics can be garnered from social media accounts and video sale web sites.
Specifically, production, pricing, and niche market data was collected (during the period 02-05 Aug 2016) from a well known third party video sales site for 18 other established online Dominatrices. These online Dominatrices all use the same, or similar, business model as Ceara Lynch.
On average, these Dominatrices have been selling custom videos at that site for over 6 years, produce 18 videos per month, compete in 159 description/fetish categories, and sell their videos at a median price/minute of $1.27.
Ceara Lynch’s production, marketing, and pricing metrics are slightly below than those of the average online Dominatrix. She produces on average 13 clips per month, lists her videos in 157 fetish/description categories, and enjoys a small pricing advantage by selling her videos at a median price/minute of $1.11.
Nothing in these numbers suggests Ceara Lynch is exploiting the business model differently than the other online Dominatrices.
Measuring Success …
Given the above, then, how can I assert her success is much greater than expected/average?
To find the answer to that question, we need to measure success. And without access to each Dominatrix’s financial data, a publicly available proxy metric for success had to be found.
Fortunately, contingent upon a few assumptions, the “Number of Twitter Followers” can be a reasonable proxy.
For businesses, social media success is more about engagement and less about popularity. Successful engagement means new leads, new clients, and repeat customer purchases and interaction. According to Twitter Media research (www.media.twitter.com,) when someone follows you on Twitter, you gain a chance to engage with that person over time. A 2013 survey of small and medium size businesses showed that followers don’t just see your Tweets — they also take actions that benefit your business. For example, customers share positive experiences about the businesses they follow on Twitter with their own network of followers (64%), spread the word about your business through Retweets (70%), and are also much more likely to buy from you in the future (72%). Additional Twitter Media research shows that an active account posting video, links, and photos engages more successfully with a larger audience.
So assuming successful engagement generates new customers as well as repeat customer purchases, and that each of the 18 Dominatrices used in this comparison are employing successful engagement techniques, then “Number of Twitter Followers” may be used as a proxy to measure relative business success. To that end, the average number of Twitter followers per Dominatrix is 27,400. Ceara Lynch’s Twitter account has 42,200 followers.
To state it another way, Ceara Lynch is 62% more effective at exploiting a business model commonly used by comparable online Dominatrices.
Pulling It All Together …
Early on, I mentioned the dimensions of business – the physical, the rational, and the psychological.
For Ceara Lynch, her video clips dominate the physical dimension of her business domain. Sale of her clips directly account for a large portion of her revenue. Other revenue sources (tributes, gifts, phone sex calls, etc.) are by in large derivative revenue sources. That is to say, they would be of significantly less consequence if there were no video clips driving customers to those alternative revenue generators.
In the rational dimension, Ceara Lynch is focused to a large extent on marketing. She uses a wide variety of social media and other online venues to promote her business. Her full-spectrum marketing and advertising efforts are synergistic; that is, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Like the combined arms and integrated fires of war fighting, seemingly independent efforts are linked together in a way to produce a much larger effect than as if each were applied separately. A coherence is achieved that maximizes effect for combined effort.
Finally, Ceara Lynch has worked hard to establish a strategy for success in the psychological domain. She is genuinely fascinated by the way the brain works, particularly with regards to both the physiological and psychological aspects of human sexuality. Educating herself to understand the scientific and emotional bases associated with the fetishes and sexual desires of her client base, her videos appeal on the mental, sexual, and emotional levels. This appeal to all the elements of a person’s decision making process goes beyond marketing and advertising. It goes to establish a brand and build loyalty within her customer base.
In Summary …
For all her business skills and acumen, Ceara Lynch’s above average success can be linked only in part to her low-cost high-quality video products. Rather, the preponderance of her success lies in skillful use of the rational and psychological dimensions of business. Synergistic marketing, brand recognition and brand image, full spectrum personal appeal, and knowledge-based customer interaction mesh together into a singular, but effective, “Twitter Follower” marketing multiplier; which, by extension, when engaged correctly, equates to more revenue and sales.